Tag Archive: bread

Super Bowl Star Appetizers

We have spicy, rich, succulent so now we have a savory appetizer for my Super Bowl party.  This came about because a friend at work, Sue, gave me some cute little tubes to bake bread in – a star, a heart and a flower.  I had to try them out.  But what was I doing to do with a loaf of bread?

The star looked most appealing and if a certain Texas team had made it to the Super Bowl, they would have been perfect –  not to be this year, at least.

Savory Bread Stars

These are pretty simple and any good crusty bread would work. You could even use baguette rolls or a long loaf of crusty French bread.  Just don’t make them too far ahead.

This is the perfect appetizer for any party.

Moist Banana Bread with Raisins

I love banana bread.  Especially very moist banana bread or cake.  And this one has lots of bananas in it.  The aroma while baking was fantastic.  If I had opened the doors, I bet my neighbors would have dropped by! It is so moist.

Now this would not replace my Grandmother’s recipe, but this is a good second.  You can imagine how moist it gets with all those bananas and the raisins.  With a cup of tea this is a great breakfast, mid-day snack or evening snack. Whenever…..!  Enjoy!

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Cranberry Bread

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite cookie!  Voting ends on the 21st at Midnight.

Cookies 2012
Not that holiday celebrating is over. We are just getting started!  Including baking and posting some of our faves once the contest is over.  Here is Cranberry Bread.  A great holiday morning breakfast or a snack!

My Grandmother always had recipes for breads. She served them with coffee or tea after dinner.  It was her dessert.  She always had them ready whenever guests dropped by, as they often did, for an evening visit.  She lived in a little town in Southwest Kansas, Meade.  That’s where the Dalton Gang had their hideout.  I think I visited that museum every summer I went to visit.  It never got old.  Our family had a flag in the museum given by a long lost family member.  It’s where my roots came from.  I loved the summer visits there.  My cousins, aunts, uncle, grandparents all lived there.  My mom and dad were from there.

But I RAMBLE, back to the breads.  I think banana bread was Grandma Birdie’s specialty, although pumpkin was probably a close second.  Surprisingly, her recipe card for Cranberry Bread says my cousin Pam gave it to her.  I like it for that reason.  The bread is sort of a sweet/tart flavored bread.  The cranberries give it a beautiful color when sliced.  It reminds me of Thanksgiving with the cranberries or Christmas because of the beautiful red berries.

I like it sliced thin and served with a cup of tea.  It brings back lots of good memories.

As I was looking for the recipe, I discovered I have never put it in a family cookbook.  So, here is a new one for everyone, including my family.  I am writing it as my grandmother did.  Not too many instructions.

Cranberry Bread  –  Pam

Sift together in a medium bowl

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt


  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
  • ¼ cup melted shortening
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar and water to make 2/3 cup

Chop coarse:

  • 1 cup nuts (I used pecans, but I bet she used walnuts)
  • 1 cup raw cranberries

Blend with flour.  Bake 60-70 minutes in a regular loaf pan well greased.  Bake 45 minutes in 2 small loaf pans at 350°.

Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge and turn out to cool on a rack.  Wrap in foil to stay moist.

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Miz Helen’s Country Cottage 

Pumpkin Muffins

I saw these muffins on The Southern Lady Cooks and knew I had to make them.  First because they are Texas-size big and second because they are pumpkin/spice.  I do believe Judy is writing to me personally when she posts a new recipe.  I love the way she thinks about food.  Take a look around her site.  The Southern style and ingredients are just my style too.  She even had a crock pot chicken recipe she sent me.  I have to try it soon.

The aroma filled the kitchen and helped me get ready for Thanksgiving.  My mom always had pumpkin bread in the kitchen when my family came home for Thanksgiving weekend.  The folks at work are getting fat from all the sampling they are forced to do when I bake.  But I didn’t hear any complaints when I put these out.  They have stopped asking me for the recipe.  Very few of them bake I guess.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t bake.  This has given me a creative outlet I had let move to the back burner for a while.  I might put it on simmer after the holidays.

You know a couple of years ago I had never heard of a food blog.  All my internet recipes came from a couple of sources.  Today the wide variety of tastes and cultures, mixed with family traditions make it overwhelming some times.  I get excited when I find something new to try my twist on. I do so love sharing my family recipes, traditions and memories with you.

The Best Pumpkin Muffins

Adapted from Judy’s recipe at The Southern Lady Cooks 

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin, heaping full
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a KitchenAid large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, whisk together brown sugar, oil, eggs, and buttermilk. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice and continue to whisk together. Whisk in baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract and pumpkin.

Mix in flour by hand with a spoon. Spray the large (six muffin) tin and fill each almost full with batter. (Could use a smaller tin that makes 12 muffins). Add topping below.


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

Top the muffins with the topping and then the pieces of butter and nuts.

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup nut pieces (optional)

Mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and oats in a bowl. Sprinkle over the muffins and cut butter into small pieces on top. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake in preheated 350° oven 30 to 35 minutes until centers are done. Makes six large or 12 small muffins. I had a little batter left over from the 6 larger muffins and made 12 mini muffins with the topping and butter.  Baked these for about 15 minutes.

The holiday cookie exchange is wrapping up.  Be sure to get your entry in.  Also, come on over and meet my new friend.  Lori is a crazy, funny mom on the go.  Really on the go, read how many times she has moved between Oklahoma and Hawaii.

Cookies 2012

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Ladybird LnOr so she says




Southern Yellow Cornbread

This is the base for my Southern Cornbread Dressing.

Southern Yellow Corn Bread

  •  2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix the soda with the buttermilk and set aside to develop.  Mix cornmeal and salt.  Add the buttermilk and eggs.  Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons butter in a baking pan (9 x 13”) is ok for a nice thick slice of cornbread.  I bake mine in a cast iron skillet.   Melt the butter in the skillet while preheating the 350° oven.  Add the butter to the meal mix and stir in quickly.  Let this sit for about 20 minutes before putting it into the oven.  This allows the cornmeal to absorb the liquid.

Put the skillet back into the over to keep hot after adding the butter to the corn meal mixture.  Pour the mixture into the hot pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  You want to hear a little sizzle when you pour it in.  Bake until a nice brown crust has formed around the edges and bottom.  We will refer to this recipe a lot.  This is one of those regulars with good food.


Apple Bread

I knew something was the matter with me.  I found this recipe and decided to adapt it from Gooseberry Patch.  But I just didn’t have the energy to retrieve the apple peeler/corer/slicer from the shelf, attach it to the counter and let it do its work.  It took a week before that happened.  I was sort of sick.  I’m better now!  Sort of.  But this bread was worth the wait.

I love that little apple machine.  I have had it for years.  I need a new rubber foot to help hold it on the counter top, but I’ve worked around that.  It takes no time to finish off a bag of apples.  I always end up with more than I need for a recipe.  It’s just fun to use!

My son walked in and smelled it and took a loaf home with him.  I shared the other with my Sunday Supper group.

You should give this a try.  It has simple ingredients you probably have on hand in your kitchen and it will make the entire house smell like you have been slaving all day.  It inspired me, so I did some fall decorating with my centerpiece from last year.  Check it out. 

Apple Bread

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups apples, cored, peeled, sliced, and diced

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease and flour 2 9”x5” loaf pans and set aside.

Mix the beaten eggs, sugar and vegetable oil until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  Add the apples and fold in by hand.

Pour equally into the two loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes.  Until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Don’t over bake.  You want it moist.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Turn onto sheets of foil.  You may need to run a knife around the edges.  Cover with the foil in a tube, but don’t seal the ends until it has cooled.  Wrap tightly and allow standing overnight before serving.

The longer it waits, the more moist it will be.  I am sharing this week with: Growing Home

  Thursday Favorite Things Freedom Fridays

Foodie Friends Friday



Olympics IV

Cześć (hello),

Today we are eating in Poland.  Their food is hearty and comforting.

Polish cuisine (kuchnia polska) is a style of cooking and food preparation originating from Poland. It has evolved over the centuries. Polish national cuisine shares some similarities with other Central European and Eastern European traditions as well as French and Italian. It is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef (depending on the region) and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices. Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty and uses a lot of cream and eggs. The traditional dishes are often demanding in preparation. Many Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to serve and enjoy their festive meals, especially Christmas Eve dinner (Wigilia) or Easter breakfast which could take a number of days to prepare in their entirety.  Take a look at this site.  I am fascinated by the food we know today and how it has evolved.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_cuisine

These would be my kind of people.  Hearty food that is very involved to prepare.  I love holidays when I can plan and cook for a week!  The two recipes I chose for today are a little involved and very hearty.  I hope my friends are hungry.

Poland first participated at the Olympic Games in 1924, and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since then, except for the 1984 Games, when they participated in the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics. Poland has also participated in every Winter Olympic Games.

Polish athletes have won a total of 261 medals in both the summer and winter games, with track and field events are the most successful. Poland is the third most successful Eastern European country (after Hungary and Romania) of these who have never hosted the Olympics.

62 gold medals, 80 silver medals and 119 bronze medals.

This looks like a very good dessert or breakfast bread.  Not too sweet, but the dough and filling together with a cup of hot tea would be perfect.  Give it a try.  I can see a little Polish grandmother (babcia) kneading the dough and patting it into a perfect rope to bake for her family.  Actually I can see my mother’s mother (Grandma Pilk) doing that very thing.  She could make homemade noodles in one sweep of a knife have them cut and flipped on the back of a chair to air dry.  She was such a sweet little lady.  And she made good food.  From good German stock!

Cheese Babka


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Cheese Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups farmers cheese (a dry cottage cheese)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Sprinkle the yeast and the pinch of sugar over the warm water; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Combine the 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, milk, and 3 eggs in a bowl with 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and beat for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.


Beat together the farmers’ cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, sour cream, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and almond extract in a bowl until smooth. Set the filling aside. Lightly oil a 10-inch fluted tube pan (such as a Bundt®).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread the cheese filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting from the long end; twist the dough 6 to 8 times to form a rope. Pinch the seams and ends closed and arrange the rope of dough in the greased pan. Cover loosely and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 350°.

Bake the babka until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes; invert the babka onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Allow the babka to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


  • Use a farmers’ cheese that resembles very dry cottage cheese; do not use the      slicing cheese that is also called farmer cheese or Amish farmer cheese.  Put in a strainer or colander lined with cheese cloth to allow the liquid to drain.  You should do this overnight.
  • If you have a silicone Bundt® pan, it will work wonderfully in this recipe


Potato Pierogies [peer-Oh-Gees]

Potatoes.  Yummy.  What can be wrong about this Polish tradition?  Potatoes wrapped in a dough?   A great way to use leftover potatoes. And very inexpensive to make.  They do go fast.  If you are late to the table you may get a few scraps.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • water, as needed depends on how dry flour is

Filling (traditional)

    • your favorite mashed potatoes
    • sautéed onions
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
    • sour cream

Use a food processor with the blade and pulse flour and salt.  Add eggs and cream cheese and run processor till crumbly about 20 seconds.  Then through tube slowly add lukewarm water till dough comes into a ball.  Process 6 seconds. If sticky just add a little more flour. Let rest 20 minutes.

Roll half the dough on floured surface to about 1/16 inch thick.  Cut out 5 inch circles using a glass or cookie form.  Fill each circle with about 2 tablespoons of filling.

Fold over making sure edges are sealed.  If dough won`t seal lightly brush water on edges and pinch together.  Continue till all dough and filling is used up.

Cook in salted boiling water with olive oil. Cook no more than 10 at a time do not over crowd.  Stir to avoid sticking. About 3 minutes.

Remove with slotted spoon and place in bowl. Add sautéed onions and butter to coat. Repeat till all are cooked.

You can serve with sour cream.

After boiling you can also pan fry in butter and onions and thyme till golden brown.

Now I didn’t actually make these.  I browned them in a skillet with butter and served them the sautéed onions and sour cream.  They were originally frozen.  I believe the fresh made would be more tender and the mashed potatoes could have been flavored with bacon.  But they were good anyway.  I even tried one with Grandma Jo’s Salsa.  Yum!  Blending of cultures, you know what I mean?

Szczęśliwy Gotowanie  (Happy Cooking)

Zucchini Overload Bread

This is a small loaf.

Help!  I’m in zucchini overload!  The crop is really producing a lot of squash and I can’t eat it all.  We finally had a cooler day (high 86° on July 4!) and I felt a need to bake.  As children my mom always made cookies on one of those rare mid-summer rainy days.  I think it was to keep 4 children who were in the house all day from driving her crazy!  The benefits to us were wonderful.  Lots of chocolate chip, orange almond ice box and oatmeal cookies for snacks!

I made 2 batches of zucchini bread.  I made one with nuts and chocolate chips and one plain.   I made that with chocolate chips and pecans in regular sized loaf pans and took one to a friend for dinner last night.  The other I brought to work for my friends today.  The other batch I made without chocolate and pecans and took one to the sweet girls at the allergy clinic, gave one to Nelda and I guess I’ll keep the third small loaf.  I may make another batch to take to the Blog Hop til You Drop, It’s So Very Cheri and Katherine’s Favorite Things


Use the fine grater blade on your food processor.




  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchinis)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • *Optional:  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until light.  Add vanilla and zucchini.  Mix well.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients to lighten and add to the wet ingredients and blend by hand.

Prepare 2 regular loaf pans with non-stick spray and divide the batter evenly. Or use 3 small loaf pans prepared the same.

Bake at 350° for about 55-60 minutes until lightly browned on top and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.   Bake at 350° for 45 minutes for the small loaf pans.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans and immediately loosen and remove from the pans.  Wrap in foil, but don’t seal the ends while still hot.   Seal well when cooled.

This is best after resting in the foil for 24 hours.  Very moist.

*I added the chocolate chips and pecans because I wanted something a little sweeter for a dessert.  It was very good.


Irish Feast

Top o’ the mornin to you!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow.

From BigSister

The Contessa gave me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas.   I am not a baker.  So, mostly she got it for when she comes to visit me.  It seems I always have a project or two that require her really good baking skills.  I have no patience for measuring and letting things rest.  That being said, I can’t just let it sit there.  So, for a good cause I put it to use.  I made this Irish Soda Bread for the ladies of the Austin Junior Forum March meeting.  The other members of my team made the Shepherd’s Pie and cupcakes.  We made too much and had too many leftovers.  We took them to a local fire company.  They already liked us.  Now they love us!  The Austin Junior Forum works with local first responders to bring a little love to children in traumatic situations.  Every year we have a benefit to raise money for the Teddy Bear program.  The Teddy Bear program gives Teddy Bears to fire and policemen to carry with them and give to children when they arrive on the scene.  These bears bring some comfort and hopefully help those first responders a little bit and we are happy to do it.  Click here to read more about it.

The ladies loved this stuff!  So, here is a way to celebrate besides wearing your green and using the green food coloring.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a jelly roll or cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt and stir well to mix.

Add the butter and rub in until the butter disappears into the dry ingredients.

Stir in the caraway seeds and the raisins.

In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together and mix into the dough mixture with a rubber spatula.

Turn the dough out on a floured work surface and fold it over on itself several times, shaping it into a round loaf. Transfer the loaf to one cookie sheet or jelly roll pan covered with parchment or foil and cut a cross in the top. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes more, until well colored and a toothpick plunged into the center emerges clean.

Cool on a rack and wrap in plastic wrap.


Chocolate Stout and Irish Cream Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups Irish stout (recommended: Guinness)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Irish Liqueur Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a cupcake or muffin pan with 24 regular-size cupcake liners.

Place the stout and butter in a medium-size saucepan and whisk together on medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Sift the cocoa powder into a medium-size bowl and add the sugar. Slowly whisk into the stout mixture. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and lightly whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the saucepan and whisk thoroughly (it may appear lumpy). Sift the flour and baking soda together in another small bowl and then add it to the saucepan, mixing a final time until the color is even.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake until the cakes spring back after touching, about 27 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in their pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

To assemble: Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes using a large plain tip or spread with a frosting knife. Dust with cocoa powder.

Irish Liqueur Frosting:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (recommended: Baileys)
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar


Shepherd’s Pie

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, half the salt, and oregano. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red, about 8 minutes more. Stir in the beef, the broth, the remaining salt, the Worcestershire, and some pepper, breaking up any large clumps of meat, cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4-inch boarder around the edge. Make a decorative pattern on the top of the potatoes, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

PS-Meat free friends a package and 1/2 of veggie meat crumbles works too.  I made mine at home that way.

Strawberry Bread


A dear friend, Debbie, gave me this recipe years ago and it has stood the test of time.  She was a school teacher.  You know those teachers have the best recipes.

You don’t have to wait for Mother’s Day to have some good fresh strawberry taste.  I get anxious for some of those flavors when it is cold outside and this one is really intense and sweet.  The bread gets more moist the longer it rests. I make it to take to work and share with all the people I work with.

One time Debbie and I made this bread into cupcakes and served it as a strawberry dessert with a little whipped cream with a strawberry slice.  We added orange zest to the cream.  It was the hit of a church luncheon and everybody wanted the recipe.

Our church has talked about another cookbook.  This recipe would have to be included in her memory.  I think that would be a great project and get everyone to add their family favorites.  I bet there would be some great finds.  That’s a thought for a new project.  Writing and editing a cookbook is a real job.  Have you tried it with your family recipes?  It brings back a lot of wonderful memories and preserves those recipes and memories for your family.